Sales proposals are an important part of closing deals. Yet too often, sales organizations do not know how to write winning sales proposals and lose opportunities as a result.
Each proposal must be unique to your client. However, there are proven best practices that can be applied to any bid.
Here are ten best practices that can make your sales proposals better:
Remember Your Prospect
Do not get so carried away with what you are offering that you forget the person that you are trying to persuade. Always prioritize the prospect first, by starting with their situation and the problems they need to solve.
Remember Other Readers
Are there other influencers and decision-makers who might read your proposal, and have you met them? If you have not, your proposal will be all they have to go on, so you must address their needs too.
Impress your prospect by showing an understanding of their problems and how to fix them, rather than trying to tell them how amazing your company is. Your company facts and testimonials should just confirm that you know what you are talking about.
You still need to sell the solutions you are proposing, so remember to write a persuasive sales argument.
Check Your Facts
Simple errors will seriously undermine even the best offering. Factual errors create a bad impression that’s very hard to shift.
Get The Basics Right
Likewise, do not let your spelling, punctuation or grammar let you down. Basic errors do nothing to create a good impression.
Do Not Waffle
You may be very proud of your proposal, but your prospect seemingly has several others to read alongside yours. Even if they do not, they will certainly have a heap of other documents to read through. So write to express, rather than to impress them with your great vocabulary.
Cut And Paste With Care
Cut and paste can be a good short cut if two proposals share common material. But it also comes with danger. Get someone else to proofread what you have written, as you will miss many of your own mistakes.
Take Care With Layout
No matter how persuasive your argument is, presentation is key and a poor layout can still let you down. Keep your layout clean, crisp and professional. Use plenty of white space, and do not cram too much information into every page. Remember sometimes less is more.
Talk Them Through It
Lastly, if you want to win, take it in. Make appointments to talk your prospect through your proposal if at all possible. That way you will be able to manage any objections then and there, and maximise your chance of a successful close.